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Future Proof Kilkenny

For the time being at least, it is not that the oceans are coming that will bother us in Ireland but the fact that the rivers are coming – through the front door. As if on queue this week’s dramatic floods coincided with a report by the Irish Academy of Engineers.  The report says that if we don’t take urgent action to strengthen adversely affected critical infrastructure the following will happen:

  • Changing rainfall patterns will affect water supplies
  • Rising sea levels will inundate coastal cities and towns
  • Severe weather incidents will damage energy installations, hospitals, telecommunications, railways and other critical infrastructure, and contaminate water supplies.

In Cork this weekend those forecasts are becoming reality.

With new evidence mounting that global warming is happening faster than previously thought it is becoming clear that the we are moving from debating about future climate impacts to dealing with present day climate impacts. As the flood waters rise around the country this weekend I am reminded of a recent debate in the transition blogosphere about the need for emergency planning for communities within the Transition Town movement.

Of course the skeptics will argue that you cant link 1 weather event to global warming despite our academics warning us that this is just a foretaste of new weather patterns.

For those who are still unconvinced and those who want their increase their understanding of climate science the EPA is holding the next in it’s series of climate change lectures this coming Tuesday in the Mansion House in Dublin. The lecture is entitled “Back to the Future – The Role of Climate Science” by Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Head of Climatology and Environmental Sciences at the University Catholique de Louvain and Vice-Chair of the IPCC.

You can find the full details here and watch previous lectures on the EPA website here.

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